Don't create a content marketing strategy, create a stand-out strategy

This post was originally published at my Linkedin blog:  

These rules apply to all marketing and branding, social selling, recruitment advertising and employer branding, as well as to personal branding. Whenever you wish to build momentum with long-form content, you need to stand out in order to be effective!


Don't create a content marketing strategy, create a stand-out strategy


If your competitors have done their homework as well as you have, they create and distribute content in the exactly same channels as you, trying to reach the exactly same audience as you do. And most of the time, with similar content.

The only thing that helps you become that thought leader you wish to be seen as, is not the volume of your voice, nor is it the activity levels or number of posts. It's quite often vice versa - less is more! You just need to make the content stand out, and build the reach, how people are finding your content. You could create great, killer content to your own blog or website, but if no one finds it, it's worthless.


You could create killer content to your blog, but if no one finds it, it's worthless


Focus on 3 things; content that's different (the stand-out strategy), quality of content, and building the path to your content. The last point means in many cases that instead of using 80% of your budget to content creation, you should be using 80% to distribution, promoting it, attracting readers to it.

There's so much new content created and distributed online every single day, that earned attention often just isn't enough anymore, so you need to boost your best content, you need paid attention, too.

You need to increase your contents "foundability", whether with advertising, SEO/SMO, using time and resources to distribute it manually to as many relevant groups, pages and communities as possible, or, you need to engage your employees and audience to share it for you. Or perhaps a combination of all these.

And last but not least, you need to have the right metrics. How do you measure your content's reach, engagement, and the end result, whatever it may be that you want to achieve with you content. It may be more traffic to your blog or website to gain following, it may a landing page where you collect leads, it may your Linkedin profile where you identify the visitors one by one, or it may all be about building your brand, your thought leadership of some sort.

Are your posts receiving more views, likes, shares or comments than your competitors' posts? Are the people that engage with you, the right people? The ones you were trying to reach...?

Test content, test media, test CTAs, test everything. And once you see the hockey stick, boost that content and try to repeat the formula.


You may have to take more risk in the type of content you create


Stand-out strategy means, that you may have to take a bit more risk in the type of content you create. Your posts may have to be more provocative than your competitors'. The content needs to raise discussion and engagement. In short, it needs to be different from others, it needs to stand out!

If not, you're loosing the fight!